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Modelling co-translational dimerization for programmable nonlinearity in synthetic biology

Nonlinearity is fundamental in the performance of natural and synthetic biological networks, as many key functional motifs in microbial systems rely on nonlinear molecular dynamics. Nevertheless, the rational design of nonlinearity is an unmet challenge due to the lack of mathematical modelling that accounts for the mechanistic basis of nonlinearity.

In this study, a model for gene regulatory circuits that simulates a well known source of nonlinear dynamics (in particular, protein dimerization during translation) is presented. This method allows to fine-tune nonlinearity on demand, and several design rules that may be used to adjust dimerization dynamics in vivo are suggested. 

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